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community partner spotlight

maternal infant health program

Arbor Circle is pleased to highlight our community partner in SCAN in recognition of child abuse awareness month. Maternal Infant Health Program is not a program of Arbor Circle.

Did you know that the ways parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how that baby will interact in relationships for the rest of their lives? Here are a few things you can do with your baby to promote bonding and healthy development (1):

• Talk to your baby. They love your voice and will find it calming.
• Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. This will help them learn to use language.
• Read to your baby. This will help them develop and understand language and sounds.
• Sing to your baby and play music. This will help them develop a love for music and positively affects their brain development.
• Praise your baby and give them lots of loving attention. There’s no such thing as spoiling an infant.
• Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This will help them feel cared for and secure.
• Play with your baby when they’re alert and relaxed. Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy so that they can take a break from playing.
• Distract your baby with toys and move them to safe areas when they start moving and touching things that they shouldn’t touch.
• Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Parenting can be hard work! It is easier to enjoy your baby and be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself.

Talking about infant development is just one of the many ways the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) supports families. With a team of registered nurses, social workers, infant mental health specialists, dietitians, and lactation consultants, MIHP provides prenatal, parenting, and health education, along with counseling, nutrition information, infant massage instruction, and help obtaining needed resources to individuals who qualify. The goal of MIHP is to promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, because we believe this is imperative to the health of our community.

To learn more, watch the videos or visit miottawa.org or michigan.gov/mihp.

To make a referral, visit miottawa.org or call Devon at 616.393.5731.

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Positive parenting tips for healthy child development: Infants (0-1 year of age). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/pdfs/infants-0-1-w-npa.pdf